Monthly Archives: March 2012

Profit Your Way To Business Success

Too many businesses see turnover as their most vital yardstick, foolishly thinking -their turnover is growing, so they must be doing well.

When your turnover is doubling year on year, it's easy to delude yourself that your business is flying high.

A wise old man once told me "turnover is vanity while profit is sanity."

He was spot on and growing profits at Beattie Communications has long been a major focus for the Group.

Profits have allowed us to think strategically and invest in new brands and new services. They are fuelling the launch of the Only and 11ten brands. They are allowing us to step into the world of publishing and they are enabling us to expand internationally without the need for bank borrowing.

For my part, I would much rather see my turnover and my profits increase year on year with my cash flow going from strength to strength.

The Banks Need To Take A Brave Pill

The dismal reputation of banks across the world has been further dented by the resignation letter of Greig Smith who accused his former colleagues at Goldman Sachs of "ripping off" their clients and calling their customers "muppets".

Smith's letter merely confirmed what many people believe - we have all been taken for a ride by the banks.

Reuters contacted me when Smith's letter was published to ask if it would further damage the tattered reputation of the banks and what could Goldman Sachs and others could do to redeem themselves.

Restoring a brand's reputation is a complex issue but the simple blue print the banks need to follow can be summed up in four easy to follow steps.

  1. They need to accept they have been holed below the waterline and are determined to restore their reputation. That will mean taking a brave pill as no bank has taken the next step.
  2. They need to apologise - not once but many times until shareholders, customers and the general public actually believe they accept the error of their ways.
  3. They must change the culture within. That means that bankers, from the chairman down, accept that the underhand practises of the past must be binned and a new code of conduct must be signed up to. Any employee not willing to put their name to the charter of good conduct should be kicked out.
  4. They then need to live by the new rules and promote the fact that they have changed to the outside world.

It's not a quick fix and it's probably why no bank that I know of has gone down the route of admitting "we lost our way."

None-the-less, the first major bank that decides to revert to traditional banking values will be on to a winner.

Clients will be queuing up at the front door because all we want is to be treated fairly and respectfully.

Greedy Councils Are Killing Our Town Centres

The city of Sarasota in sunny Florida spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing parking metres throughout the town centre.

Only 10 months later the metres are being ripped out and consigned to the rubbish heap because they were killing retail trade.

The city fathers reckoned they could fill their coffers with parking fees - but shoppers stayed away and retailers rebelled because their tills were falling silent rather than jangling constantly.

I take my hat off to the Sarasota commissioners because they quickly realised the folly of their ways.

I just wonder how many town and city centres in Britain will fall into utter decay because local councillors are too thick or too greedy to realise that anti-car policies are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Today, shoppers have a choice and they are choosing not to put up with the bus lanes, traffic wardens, parking metres not to mention the speed and spy cameras which dominate our town and city centres.

Who needs the hassle?

Instead, they are flocking in ever growing numbers to out of town shopping centres which are easy to get to and where parking is free.

Until greedy councils the length and breadth of Britain follow the lead of the Sarasota commissioners, our town centres will decline still further and our high streets will be populated with nothing but pound shops and boarded up retail units.

It's time to wake up and smell the coffee - before it's too late.

Beattie Communications Generates Its Own Electricity

Well the lights are finally on and Beattie Communications has begun generating its own green electricity!!

We have invested tens of thousands of pounds installing solar panels on the roof of our media village in the Scottish town of Falkirk.

We have installed a 10kwp solar energy system and we are already feeding surplus electricity into the National Grid as well as reducing our carbon footprint.

We are probably the first PR and marketing agency in the UK to invest in solar energy. We hope others will follow our lead.

In addition to solar panels, we are investing in energy-efficient lighting, upgrading office equipment and installing new heating systems in our offices in Scotland and England.

To further reduce our carbon footprint, we are also making more use of video and audio conferencing and most of our training programmes are now delivered remotely.

The long-term aim of Beattie Communications is to become one of the greenest consultancy businesses in the world.

Beattie Communications, which is headquartered in London, has eight offices across the UK and partners in 40 countries around the globe. We operate three brands - Beattie, Only and 11ten.

Beattie Communications is a full service PR agency with specialist industry teams covering 15 sectors including healthcare PR, crisis PR, student recruitment and education PR, personal brand management, public sector PR and retail PR.

Only provides integrated marketing services to clients around the globe including advertising, brand design, direct marketing, media buying, social media marketing, internet marketing, internet monitoring and copywriting services.

11ten Group is the world's leading education marketing and student recruitment consultancy.